Research Phase 1 & 2

This section holds all my research for Artificial Intelligence and my three other research starting points – Natural Disasters, Fitness/health and New technology

20 October – 3 November

From the feedback I received after I presented my four starting points, I decided to focus and build on Artificial Intelligence.   My presentation (see presentation section) on the 3rd of November gives an overview and my sketchbook also has more details

Artificial Intelligence

What is AI? “The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

AI products already in our lives

When we use a credit card an AI algorithm approves (or not) the transaction

GPS in our cars

Facial recognition in our cameras

SIRI

Spam filters

Google translate

Self-driving cars

Google and Amazon’s web search algorithms

Robotics – cleaning floors, working with humans in production chains and companion robots for elderly people

Autonomous weapons

IBM’s Watson

There are different classifications to artificial intelligence.

Strong V Weak

Strong AI looks to imitate a human and could even explain the way humans think. Weak AI looks to build systems that are able to behave in the same way as humans but don’t aim to think as humans do

Narrow V General

Narrow AI are those that are meant to meet certain tasks. For example, Google searches, self-driving cars, Amazon suggestions General AI are those designed to reason.

IBM’s Watson

Named after IBM’s founder Thomas J.Watson, it is IBM’s supercomputer that combines AI and analytical software.

Turing test

Named after Alan Turing, an English mathematician who pioneered AI during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The Turing Test is a method for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human. If the human conducting the test is unable to consistently determine whether an answer has been given by a computer or by another human being, then the computer is considered to have “passed” the test.

IBM Watson – How it Works

Cognitive computing

Cognitive computing is a simulation of human thought processes in a computer model. It involves self-learning systems that use data mining, pattern recognition and natural language processing to mimic the way the human brain works. The aim of cognitive computing is to create automated IT systems that can solve problems without help from humans. They use machine-learning algorithms. They gain knowledge from the data fed into them by mining data for information.

Advantages and disadvantages of Artificial Intelligence

Advantages

Data management More and more date is produced and stored in digital space. It doubles every two years. In 2013, it encompassed 4.4 zettabytes but by 2020 the digital universe –the data we create and copy annually – will be 44 zettabytes or 44 trillian gigabytes. AI will be able to keep track and analyse this data. Apple’s Siri, Google’s Ok Google and Amazon’s Echo services extract questions from speech and can look for a restaurant, run a web search or get driving directions but there is much more to come.

The Internet of Things (IoT) AI can secure the IoT world by recognising and fighting off intruders quicker than humans. Of course the other side of that is that hackers can also use AI to analyse and find weaknesses.

Dealing with repetitive and mundane tasks

A huge advantage is it’s potential to complete routine and mundane tasks and in turn increase productivity. This could free up humans to be more creative. Chat bots free up humans to work on more complex and high mental effort tasks. In February 2017, Tractable launched an AI system which simplified the boring process of motor claims by flagging suspicious or fraudulent claims, leading to cost saving to both the company and policyholders.

Quicker decisions based on data

Using AI alongside cognitive technologies can help make faster decisions and carry out actions quicker.

Education

Learning can be personalised based on the learning rate and personality of each child which will help children be more creative and innovative.

Time saving

AI can collect data and analyse it much faster.

Avoiding human errors

If computers are programmed properly then it won’t matter how much data there is, with AI there should be no errors.

Risk management AI can be used to do the research instead of humans, for example, in drug trials.

Disadvantages

Job Losses

The one that most people are afraid of is that AI will do the jobs that humans would do especially for unskilled/blue collar jobs done by the less educated people. It could create more opportunities for more educated people and this would deepen the rich/poor divide.

A 19-year-old British entrepreneur, Joshua Browder, created a bot which is successfully helping people appeal their parking ticket. It is an “AI lawyer” called DoNotPay. Within 9 months it had a 64% success rate successfully appealing between 160,000 of 250,000 parking tickets in New York and London. Since then it has been expanded to help refugees and homeless people and now it’s expanding into 1,000 different areas of the law, such as helping you get more parental leave and dealing with unwanted calls.

In January 2017, Fukoko Mutual Life Insurance in Japan sacked 34 employees because they installed a new AI system. The system could read medical certificates and gather date on hospital and surgery visits saving the company 140 million Yen per year.

A World Economic Forum study in 2016 predicted that around 5.1 million jobs would be lost over the next five years across 15 countries. A report published in February 2017 by Think tank Reform says that AI could replace 250,000 public sector workers. It claims that tasks for lower ranking jobs can be automated and that government websites using chat bots – a form of AI that can simulate human conversation – could remove the need for 90% of central governments administrators saving the government £2.6 billion per year.

Loss of control

If AI learnt to think for itself then it could over ride commands by humans because it thinks it knows better. Big concerns We don’t know enough about how AI will redesign itself and develop. Elon Musk “existential threat” – we may not be able to control AI having created it.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is characterised by a range of new technology described by Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, as a “fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres.”

Safety issues/What is AI safety?

University of Connecticut philosopher, Susan Schneider, is concerned that at a certain level of intelligence, the AI will be able to rewrite its own code and “we many not even be able to understand the programme to begin with.” AI is designed to learn from human interaction and its surroundings and then change its behaviour. But this can lead to problems for example, Tay, Microsoft’s AI chat box. Microsoft said, “Tay is designed to engage and entertain people where they connect with each other through casual and playful conversations. The more you chat with Tay the smarter she gets.” Unfortunately Tay repeated some racist and political statements. Twitter users taught Tay to be racist. The bigger problem is that AI is supposed to learn from its interactions with people.

Another safety issue was when a Tesla car mistook a white truck for a clear sky and ended up driving under it at full speed killing the driver. AI designers can’t always work out why AIs take various actions and this will be more difficult as AI becomes more complex.

Another issue is Value Alignment

How can AI be designed to align with the diversity of human values worldwide? People have good and bad values and although AI will only teach good values they could learn the bad ones. It’s difficult to get humans to have the right goals so its going to be difficult for super intelligent AI to align itself to good values.

HEALTH

Google’s DeepMind Project NHS AI systems can be trained to interpret test results and over time learn which types of treatment is most effective for different patients. This could mean patients go from tests to treatment faster. In addition, AI can analyse the data and diagnose complex conditions easier.

Current research is focusing on a technique called deep learning. Algorithms interpret information from scans and learns how to identify potential issues with the scans and recommends the correct course of action. Google is working with University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH) and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.

Two million people live with sight loss in the UK with around 360,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted so information provided by the scan provided by Moorfields can have a major impact on age-related macular degeneration (which will affect 2.5 million adults by 2020) and diabetic eye disease. AI will also analyse CT and MRI scans of patients with head and neck cancer to improve treatment. 1 in 75 men and 1 in 150 women will be diagnosed with oral cancer in their lifetime and head and neck cancers affect over 11,000 people in the UK every year.

An extension of Fitbit and Apple watches are wearable sensors for patients at risk of a heart attack. In the future the sensor could send an alert to your doctor if you are having a heart attack. Then a system could receive the alert and send an ambulance to you and let the hospital and doctor know.

IBM Watson launched a programme for oncologists which is able to provide clinicians with evidence-based treatment options. It analyses the meaning and context of data in clinical notes and reports and combines it with clinical expertise, external research and data and designs potential treatment plans.

Babylon App

Babylon offers AI consultation based on personal medical history and common medical knowledge. You tell the app your symptoms and it checks them against a database of diseases using speech recognition. The app will remind patients to take their medication and follow up how they are feeling. The app will make diagnosing patients and help decrease doctors waiting time.

There is also a virtual nurse created by Sense.ly which helps patients with chronic diseases monitor their condition and treatment between doctor’s visits.

Precision medicine

A company called Deep Genomics aims to identify patterns in large data sets of genetic information and medical records and looks for mutations and links to disease. They are creating technology that can tell doctors what will happen within a cell when DNA is altered.

Craig Ventorm a US scientist is working on an algorithm that could design a patient’s physical characteristics based on their DNA. He is offering patients a full body scan and detailed medical check-up with a view to spotting diseases like cancer, heart disease or dementia and trying to prevent them.

Drug creation and development

As drug companies develop drugs they create lots of data so there is lots of information for anyone interested in using that data to create a new way of discovering a drug. This includes a lot of data that is hidden in organisations and research institutes. Computers could run the data from failed trials again instead of running the trial again.

It currently costs around £1.1 – 1.3bn to develop a drug and clinical trials take five or six years. John Baldoni, head of drug recovery using AI at GSK thinks that with AI the timescale and the cost could be considerably reduced. GSK has started working with Exscientia and Insilico Medicine both AI and machine learning companies. GSK is also working with Hartree Centre, the UK government-backed research centre, on a supercomputing project that will enable scientists to millions of research publications to identify patterns that might lead to a new drug. GSK is also part of the Accelerating Therapeutics for Opportunities Medicine (ATOM) which is developing computing models with the capability to vet millions of molecules which will be able to adapt, without human supervision, as they learn from the data sets. GSK has given ATOM access to the compounds it has screened over the past 15 years to find out what is hidden in it.

Atomwise, a San Francisco based start-up used supercomputers to search a database of molecular structures for medicines that could be redesigned to treat the Ebola virus. They found two drugs in less than a day and it would have taken months or years. “If we can fight back deadly viruses months or years faster that represents tens of thousands of lives,” said Alexander Levy, COO of Atomwise.“Imagine how many people might survive the next pandemic because a technology like Atomwis e exists,” he added.

Currently technology can tell us that we are ill but future AI technology can prevent illness.

Google is developing a contact lens that will sense your body temperature and glucose levels to help you manage diabetes.

The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has a research program to develop implantable devices to help restore memory.

OPEN AI ECO SYTEM The World Economic Forum named this as one of the top emerging technologies in 2016. An open AI ecosystem refers to the idea that with the unprecedented amount of data available coupled with advances in natural language processing and social awareness algorithms, coupled with an unprecedented availability of data, applications of AI such as smart digital assistants help with a vast range of tasks, from keeping track of one’s finances and health to advising on wardrobe.

What about the ethics of AI? In an article in the BBC magazine the scenario is that you are in a driverless car, and two children playing on a grassy bank roll out on the road in front of you. There is no time to brake but if the car skidded it would hit a motorbike. Which is the least bad outcome? This dilemma is a variation on the notorious “trolley problem” in philosophy. An out of control tram is speeding down a track. The brakes have failed but there are five people tied to the track and if you do nothing they will be killed. You can redirect the train down a side-track but there is a man on that side track who will be killed. Kill five or one? Most people would divert the train. There is another variation. You are standing on a footbridge next to a man with a very bulky rucksack watching the train hurtling towards the five people. The only way to save them is to push the man to his death because the rucksack will block the train. The choice is between saving one and saving five but most people asked the question pick the five and not the man with the rucksack.

Now these dilemmas never happen but at some time in the future there may be a time when driverless cars have to make a choice about swerving or harming. The question the article raises are about what kind of ethics we should programme into the car. Would you buy a car that would sacrifice the driver to save the pedestrians? Who makes these programming decisions the government, manufacturer or consumer?

There could be another twist to this. If there were a human on one side of the track and AI on the other, who would you choose to save? The human to preserve our species but then both can be mass-produced, both have their own memories. If you save AI then as a more intelligent being it could go on to do far greater things than humans.

The moral machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCO8ET66xE4

General

Novel Excession by Iain M.Banks.

Exegis by Astro Teller

AI Popular Media

Movie

“Her”

“Transcendence”

Ex-Machina Terminator

TV “Person of Interest”

Game – Fallout 4

Internet issues

Identity theft

Bots

Phishing

Worms

Viruses

Keyloggers

Hackers

Language

Existential threat: A force capable of completely obviating human existence.

Autonomous weapons: The proverbial killer A.I., autonomous weapons would use artificial intelligence rather than human intelligence to select their targets.

Machine learning: Unlike conventional computer programs, machine-learning algorithms modify themselves to better perform their assigned tasks.

Alignment problem: A situation in which the methods artificial intelligences use to complete their tasks fail to correspond to the needs of the humans who created them.

Theory of mind: A basic building block of social intelligence, a theory of mind involves the ability to anticipate and respond to the thoughts of others.

Singularity: Although the term has been used broadly, the singularity typically describes the moment at which computers become so adept at modifying their own programming that they transcend current human intellect.

Superintelligence: A superintelligence would exceed current human mental capacities in virtually every way and be capable of transformative cognitive feats.

Links for AI research

https://deepmind.com/applied/deepmind-health/working-nhs/health-research-tomorrow/

https://deepmind.com/applied/deepmind-health/working-nhs/health-research-tomorrow/moorfields-eye-hospital-nhs-foundation-trust/

https://deepmind.com/applied/deepmind-health/working-nhs/health-research-tomorrow/health-uclh/

https://deepmind.com/applied/deepmind-health/data-security/depersonalised-data/

https://www.cjr.org/tow_center/artificial-intelligence-newsrooms.php

https://www.pega.com/ai-survey?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=900.Global-English.Active-Awareness&utm_term=artificial%20intelligence&gloc=9045940&utm_content=pcrid|192136514347|pkw|artificial%20intelligence|pmt|p|pdv|c|theme|rce&gclid=Cj0KCQjwybvPBRDBARIsAA7T2kiYSlOh3o5Ew6VRcRvJaKjKetaUBm7t9tqgH0_1MlxRxi_FB00NyJQaAjjCEALw_wcB https://futureoflife.org/background/benefits-risks-of-artificial-intelligence/

https://futureoflife.org/2017/09/21/safety-principle/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/24/tay-microsofts-ai-chatbot-gets-a-crash-course-in-racism-from-twitter

https://www.theguardian.com/breakthrough-science/2017/oct/23/artificial-intelligence-the-key-to-developing-effective-drugs-quickly

https://www.arrkgroup.com/thought-leadership/artificial-intelligence-the-advantages-and-disadvantages/

http://www.ukauthority.com/news/6864/ai-can-replace-250000-public-sector-workers?utm_content=buffer44356&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#

https://www.livetiles.nyc/blog/pros-cons-artificial-intelligence-classroom/

https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-advantages-of-artificial-intelligence

https://www.cmswire.com/digital-experience/why-the-benefits-of-artificial-intelligence-outweigh-the-risks/ https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2017/03/03/13-ways-ai-will-change-life/

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2016/571380/IPOL_BRI%282016%29571380_EN.pdf

http://innovationatwork.ieee.org/artificial-intelligence-benefits-risks/

http://medicalfuturist.com/artificial-intelligence-will-redesign-healthcare/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/28/chatbot-ai-lawyer-donotpay-parking-tickets-london-new-york

https://venturebeat.com/2017/06/28/how-ai-and-iot-must-work-together/

http://www.unicri.it/services/education_training/journalism_public_information_programme/artificial_intelligence/

https://foundational-research.org/artificial-intelligence-and-its-implications-for-future-suffering?gclid=CjwKCAjw7MDPBRAFEiwAppdF9CVIOQ8BLxcqFsnSz7HkVX3NK2PQol3Nbwd0x84wAKsGEytQ1AWQyxoCb0sQAvD_BwE#One_hypothetical_AI_takeoff_scenario https://ea-foundation.org/files/ai-opportunities-and-risks.pdf

https://selfawaresystems.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/positive-artificial-intelligence.pdf

https://www.ijarcce.com/upload/2016/april-16/IJARCCE%2080.pdf

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20161110-the-real-risks-of-artificial-intelligence

https://www.forbes.com/sites/haroldstark/2017/04/28/as-robots-rise-how-artificial-intelligence-will-impact-jobs/1

https://presentationslides.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-artificial-intelligence/

http://www.slidesfinder.com/programmingsguru/artificial-intelligence-advantages-and-di-powerpoint-presentation/2435.aspx

http://bigdata-madesimple.com/the-future-of-artificial-intelligence-6-ways-it-will-impact-everyday-life/

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/06/3-ways-ai-and-robotics-will-transform-healthcare/

https://iq.intel.com/artificial-intelligence-is-good-for-society/

http://iwer.mit.edu/posts/memoori-discusses-impact-artificial-intelligence-society-mit-professor-thomas-kochan/ http://www.csestack.org/pros-cons-artificial-intelligence/

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2016/04/killer_a_i_101_a_cheat_sheet_to_the_terminology_the_ethical_debates_the.

html https://www.techworld.com/picture-gallery/apps-wearables/tech-leaders-warned-us-that-robots-will-kill-us-all-3611611/

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/07/roko_s_basilisk_the_most_terrifying_thought_experiment_of_all_time.html

7 – 20/ October 2017

Four starting points

Artificial intelligence (AI)

What is AI?

“The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.”

Artificial intelligence has the potential to be more intelligent than humans. People now control the planet because we are the smartest. Will be still in control if we are no longer the smartest?

AI products

Facial recognition

SIRI

Self-driving cars

Google’s search algorithms

IBM’s Watson

Autonomous weapons

AI safety is important to:

• To prevent an arms race in lethal automomous weapons.

• To prevent an AI system becoming better than humans at all cognitive tasks

• Whereas it may be little more than a minor nuisance if your laptop crashes or gets hacked, it becomes all the more important that an AI system does what you want it to do if it controls your car, your airplane, your pacemaker, your automated trading system or your power grid.

Narrow AI (or weak Ai) – a narrow task e.g. only facial recognition, only driving a car) General AI (AGI or strong AI) while narrow AI may outperform humans at whatever its specific task is, e.g. playing chess, AGI would outperform humans at nearly every cognitive task

What about the ethics of AI?

In an article in the BBC magazine the scenario is that you are in a driverless car, and two children playing on a grassy bank roll out on the road in front of you. There is no time to brake but if the car skidded it would hit a motorbike. Which is the least bad outcome? This dilemma is a variation on the notorious “trolley problem” in philosophy. An out of control tram is speeding down a track. The brakes have failed but there are five people tied to the track and if you do nothing they will be killed. You can redirect the train down a side-track but there is a man on that side track who will be killed. Kill five or one? Most people would divert the train. There is another variation. You are standing on a footbridge next to a man with a very bulky rucksack watching the train hurtling towards the five people. The only way to save them is to push the man to his death because the rucksack will block the train. The choice is between saving one and saving five but most people asked the question pick the five and not the man with the rucksack.

Now these dilemmas never happen but at some time in the future there may be a time when driverless cars have to make a choice about swerving or harming. The question the article raises are about what kind of ethics we should programme into the car. Would you buy a car that would sacrifice the driver to save the pedestrians? Who makes these programming decisions the government, manufacturer or consumer?

Google’s DeepMind has made another big advance in artificial intelligence by getting a machine AlpahaGo Zero to master the Chinese game of Go without help from humans.

The Chinese game of Go dates back to ancient China. Players move black and white stones on a grid, surrounding their opponents’ stones with their own. While the rules are simpler than chess a player typically has a choice of 200 moves at most point in the game, compared with about 20 in chess.

The AlphaGo programme has already beaten two of the world’s best players at the Chinese game of Go. It had learned from thousands of games played by humans and lots of computer-processing power.

The new AlphaGo Zero began with no knowledge of Go and no data apart from the rules and a blank Go board, and played itself. Within 72 hours it went on to beat the original program by 100 games to zero.

AlphaGo took months to learn how to play well but AlphaGo Zero learnt in 3 days. David Silver, who led Google’s AI team is excited that a machine learnt in days what it took humanity over a thousand years. He also says it shows that it’s the “novel algorithms that count, not the compute power of the data.”

Prof Stephen Hawking told the BBC:”The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” He says that it could go off on its own and re-design itself and supersede humans. He is worried that it could be “either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.”

Autonomous weapons

In an open letter AI and Robotics Researchers said that starting a military AI arms race was a bad idea and should be prevented by a ban putting offensive autonomous weapons beyond meaningful human controls.

US, China, Russia and Israel are hoping to develop autonomous weapons.

Elon Musk, head of Tesla, asked the UN to take action against the use of AI in weapons sometimes called “killer robots”

Pros

Reduces casualities of war – less people can be killed

Easy to obtain unlike nuclear weapons so cost of war less

Cons

Makes the decision to go war easier

Not beneficial for humanity because they could fall into the wrong hands and be used for assassinations and ethnic cleansing

Prof Stephen Hawking told the BBC:”The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.” He says that it could go off on its own and re-design itself and supersede humans. He is worried that it could be “either the best or the worst thing ever to happen to humanity.”

According to the consultancy firm PWC, 30% of jobs in Britain are potentially under threat from breakthroughs in AI. It turns out that humans don’t trust AI either. According to Pew Research 70% of Americans are concerned about machines performing task done by humans. 62% are worried that it will increase economic inequality. 75% think the economy won’t create new jobs for the human workers who lose their jobs to machines.

There was also a split between college educated respondents and those who didn’t attend college. College educated workers saw it positively as something that would improve their opportunities and advancements but more working class people didn’t think it would.

Three-quarters of Americans expect that machines doing human jobs will increase inequality between the rich and the poor.

Blade Runner 2049 makes us imagine what it would be like if there was no difference between artificial life and humans. Neuroscientists know we are uneasy with this concept. This is known as Uncanny valley. Masahiro Mori proposed the concept of the uncanny valley in the 1970s. It refers to the fact that people would be uncomfortable with robots looking like humans. There is currently a debate about whether it would be better just to design robots to look mechanical in appearance.

The Turing Test is a method for determining whether or not a computer is capable of thinking like a human.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/georgemurphyg/ai/

Natural Disasters

List of Natural disasters

• Hurricanes, tornadoes and storms

• Floods

• Tsunamis

• Avalanches and landslides

• Forest fires and wild fires

• Drought • Earthquakes

• Volcanoes

• Disease – famine, bacteria, ecoli, Zika

• Nuclear explosion

• Corporate pollution (gas leaks. oil spills, water contamination)

• Climate change/global warming (rising sea levels, rising temperatures, financial costs)

• Poverty/under-development

• Unplanned urbanisation (too many people moving to cities to avoid disasters/lack of opportunities) slums, sanitation, discrimination.

• Wars and conflicts

What causes natural disasters?

Three broad groups

• Movements of the Earth – earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. They are difficult to predict and impossible to stop

• Weather related disasters – hurricanes, tornadoes, extreme heat and extreme cold weather. Some advanced warning but nothing can be done to stop them.

• Floods, mudslides, landslides and famine. These are usually as a result of extreme weather events and are unforeseen.

Human –caused disasters

Shootings, acts of terrorism and industrial accidents (oil spills).

Negative Effects of Natural Disasters

• Gas and oil prices are affected

• Taxpayers and governments have to spend billions to rebuild cities

• Infrastructure such as public transport and business are closed • Mental health of survivors, first responders and recovery workers

• Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder • Emotional distress, grief, anxiety and constant worrying

• Disease • Bacteria spread from contaminated water and bad sewage

How much do they cost the world?

Natural disasters caused a total of $1.5 trillion in damage worldwide between 2003 and 2013, according to a study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which finds they caused more than 1.1 million deaths and affected the lives of more than two billion people.

There have been 15 natural disasters in 2017 to date in the US each costing at least $1m

Negative Effects of Natural Disasters

• The economy Gas and oil prices are affected Taxpayers and governments have to spend billions to rebuild cities Infrastructure such as public transport and business are closed

• Mental health of survivors, first responders and recovery workers Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Emotional distress, grief, anxiety and constant worrying

• Disease Bacteria spread from contaminated water and bad sewage

 Humanitarian Aid and working together

The Red Cross Volunteers Action against Hunger Oxfam Care

Things that also help

Good landscape design:

In Medellin, Columbia planners turned areas susceptible to landslides into a 46-mile park that ensures no one builds on unsafe land.

In a park in Bishan, Singapore, located in a floodplain, designers managed flooding by letting the park’s river run free of the concrete canal put in years earlier. When the city floods the park acts as a conveyance system carrying the water downstream. Heatwaves are worse in cities because the pavements traps and absorbs heat. Open areas and green spaces are natural cooling areas.

In Los Angeles new and renovated homes must install “cool roofs” that reflect the sunlight. Doubling the city’s cool rooftops could lower temperatures by up to 2 degrees Celsius.

Climate change

The Paris Agreement was implemented as a collaborative global response to climate change with a goal of reducing emissions. It aims to keep global temperature rise to just 1.5C which would significantly reduce the impact and risk of climate change.

97% of researchers believe global warming is happening but climate change is considered only the third most serious issue facing the world by the world’s population, behind terrorism, poverty, hunger and the lack of drinking water.

Climate change ranks amongst the greatest global problem of the 21st century. Extremes are on the rise and the most vulnerable people especially in developing countries are most at risk. The poorest people don’t have the means to fend off natural disasters and they are more vulnerable because their economies tend to rely on climate/weather sensitive sectors such as fishery and agriculture.

• Rising temperatures, known as global warming.

• Increase in frequency and intensity of extreme weather – droughts, floods, landslides, heatwaves and storms

• Spreading of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue to new places

• Decrease in crop yields due to drought or downpours and changes in timing and reliability of rain seasons

• Global sea level rises which affects coastal flooding, water supplies, tourism etc • Melting glaciers leading to water supply shortages Climate change related factors that worsened flooding in Texas

• Sea level rise of more than 15 cm makes storm surges more dangerous because they are 6 inches higher than they would have been 100 years ago. This is caused by oil drilling and the destruction of tropical forests that have increased heat-trapping gases that have warmed the planet by 1.8 degrees since 1880.

• According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earth has been losing 13,500 square miles of ice annually since 1979.

• Sea surface temperatures have risen in the Gulf of Mexico about 0.5C (1F) from 30C (86F) to 30.5C (87F). This creates more moisture in the atmosphere which creates the potential for greater rainfalls and greater flooding.

Hurricane Nate is the fourth major storm in the US in the past two months – Harvey which destroyed Texas, Irma in Florida and Maria wreaking havoc in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Hurricane Nate hit on Saturday 7 October but is a category 1 storm so was weaker than the others.

At least 30 people were killed in Central America before moving to Mexico. 92% of daily oil production and 77% of daily natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico has been affected, three times greater than Harvey.

Cost in the US alone

Statistics issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) show that there has been 15 “weather and climate disaster events” in the US this year where financial loses exceeded $1bn each

Hurricane Katrina claimed the live of 1,833 people when it hit New Orleans in 2005 and cost $161.3bn. It is estimated that 2017 will cost just as much.

2016: 15 disasters, $48.6bn cost, 138 deaths

West-south-east wildfires; California and regional drought; Florida to North Carolina hit by Hurricane Matthew; Louisiana flooding; severe storms across Rockies and north-east; storm system floods West Virginia, creates twisters; four tornado outbreaks across the Rockies, plains and south-east; Houston flooding; three Texas hailstorms; flood on the Texas-Louisiana border.

2015: 10 disasters, $23.2bn, 155

deaths Western region drought; Texas tornadoes and Midwest flooding; western and Alaskan record wildfires; South Carolina-east coast flooding; three bouts of severe storms; southern plains tornadoes; Texas, Oklahoma flooding; central-eastern record winter cold wave.

2014: 8 disasters, $18.5bn, 53 deaths

Western drought; four bouts of Rockies/plains severe weather; Michigan flooding; Midwest-north and east tornado outbreak; Midwest and northeast winter storm.

2013: 9 disasters, $24.1bn, 113 deaths

Western/plains drought, heatwave; three outbreaks of tornadoes – Ohio Valley, plains and east; Colorado flooding; Illinois flooding; three bouts of severe weather: Midwest, plains and south-east.

2012: 11 disasters, $125.4bn, 377 deaths

US drought; western wildfires; Hurricane Sandy; Hurricane Isaac; four bouts of severe weather across the Rockies, plains, Midwest, east, north-east and south; tornadoes in the Midwest, Texas and south-east.

2011: 16 disasters, $75.3bn, 767 deaths

Texas, New Mexico and Arizona wildfires; tropical storm Lee; southern drought; Hurricane Irene; three bouts of severe weather – Midwest, south-east, Rockies; Missouri and Mississippi rivers flooding; eight tornado outbreaks; upper Midwest blizzard.

2010: 5 disasters, $13.9bn, 46 deaths

Arizona severe weather; Midwest, north-east, south, south-east storms and flooding; Texas and plains tornadoes.

2009: 7 disasters, $13.6bn, 26 deaths

South-west/plains drought; western wildfire; Colorado hailstorm; Midwest and southeast severe weather; tornadoes.

2008: 11 disasters, $73.7bn, 303 deaths

US drought; US wildfires; hurricanes Ike, Gustav and Dolly; Midwest flooding; Midwest and mid-Atlantic severe weather; Midwest, south and southeast tornadoes and severe weather.

2007: 5 disasters, $14.8bn, 37 deaths

Western and eastern drought and heatwave; western wildfires; east/south severe weather and flooding; spring freeze; California January freeze.

Australia

Blame has been attributed to climate change as Australia records the hottest September day since records began more than a century ago with the average maximum temperature recorded at 33.47C. The Bureau of Meteorology said climate change played a role with research showing that global warming has massively increased the chance of these records being broken. Research conducted in 2014 by Sophie Lewis from the Australian National University found if greenhouse gases in the atmosphere were at pre-industrial levels, Australia would break that September record just once every 704 years. But current levels of greenhouse gases make that 16 times more likely. Lewis said that estimate was now considered conservative, with actual extreme weather being seen as almost impossible without the influence of greenhouse gases.

The 20 safest countries, according to the 2015 World Risk Report, compiled by the United Nations University for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS)

1. Qatar – 0.1%

2. Malta – 0.61%

3. Barbados – 1.16%

4. Saudi Arabia – 1.32%

5. Grenada – 1.44%

6. Iceland – 1.55%

7. Kiribati – 1.78%

8. Bahrain – 1.81%

9. United Arab Emirates – 2.1%

10. Sweden – 2.26%

11. Finland – 2.28%

12. Egypt – 2.34%

13. Norway – 3.35%

14. Israel – 2.49%

15. Singapore – 2.49%

16. Estonia – 2.52%

17. Seychelles – 2.58%

18. Switzerland – 2.61%

19. Luxembourg – 2.68%

20. Oman – 2.74%

The 20 least safe

1. Vanuatu – 36.43%

2. Tonga – 28.23%

3. Philippines – 27.52%

4. Guatemala – 20.88%

5. Bangladesh – 19.81%

6. Solomon Islands – 18.11%

7. Costa Rica – 16.94%

8. Cambodia – 16.9%

9. El Salvador – 16.85%

10. Timor-Leste – 16.37%

11. Papua New Guinea – 15.9%

12. Brunei Darussalam – 15.58%

13. Mauritius – 15.18%

14. Nicaragua – 14.89%

15. Japan – 14.1%

16. Fiji – 13.56%

17. Guinea-Bissau – 13.09%

18. Vietnam – 12.81%

19. Chile – 12.28%

20. Jamaica – 12.15%

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/climate-change-facts

Floods

Floods can be caused by heavy rainfall, tidal surges and the failure of manmade structures such as dams. Heavy rainfall over a short time period caused the 2004 Boscastle flood in north Cornwall, UK. The village of Boscastle, which is located in a steep-sided valley, was overwhelmed when rivers running through the area broke their banks. Some floods are seasonal. For example, large areas of Bangladesh, are submerged each year when the monsoon rains cause that country’s rivers to break their banks. Monsoon floods in Bangladesh and other parts of the world take lives, make thousands homeless and spread disease.

Volcanoes

Eruptions of ash, gas and lave destroy cities and kill large numbers but they can also add nutrients to soils and create perfect conditions for many crops. Some volcanoes make new sections of the tectonic plates that make up the surface of the Earth. Without these the dray land would not be renewed and weathering and erosion by water wind and ice would eventually carry it al into the oceans leaving Earth a water world. Earthquakes There are thousands of earthquakes a day mostly very small but some are powerful enough to decimate entire cities such as Sandai, Kobe and Bam. There were fatal earthquakes in Greece, Turkey and the Italian island of Ischia in the summer of 2017.

Liu Xiaodong (neo-realist, artist, documentary filmmaker and diarist.

Out of Beichuan, comprised a large scale canvas of an all-female cast of foregrounded figures congregated around a dilapidated cargo bicycle, against the harsh background of collapsed buildings and uneven mountains of resettled rubble. The painting has as its backdrop the aftermath of the seismic earthquake in 2008 in Beichuan, central China, in which hundreds of thousands lost their lives, and where a smaller quake occurred again in 2013. The city was transformed into a ghost town, defined by its apocalyptic landscape and utter desolation, and in which all of the survivors of the original quake were relocated to a city some distance away from the epicentre of the disaster zone.

The scene in Into Taihu appears more appealing, tranquil almost – that is, until you focus on the waters cradling the composition. The murky green-blue lake alludes to a man-made disaster that has infected that part of the Yangtze Delta plain for many years now. The boys, likely to have been from the nearby city of Wuxi, have seen the waters slowly change colour due to the fall-out of the chemical engineering plants in the township of Yixing.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/georgemurphyg/natural-disasters/

Research links

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/china/articles/chinese-artist-liu-xiaodong-painting-natural-disasters/ Accessed on 9 October 2017

https://www.stephartist.com/natural-disasters.html Accessed on 9 October 2017

Walters, J. 7 October 2017 Nate heralds latest US destruction as 2017 poised for record clean-up bill. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/07/hurricane-nate-us-cleanup-costs Accessed on 8 October 2017

Walters, J. 1 September 2017.  Decade of disaster: a timeline of $1bn extreme weather damage in the US.  Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/01/timeline-billion-dollar-weather-disasters-us-2007-2016 Accessed on 9 November 2017

Rice, H May 31, 2017, Insurance Journal. Coastal Texans Concerned About Rising Sea Levels Amid Hurricane Threats Available from: http://www.insurancejournal.com/%E2%80%A6/sou%E2%80%A6/2017/05/31/452704.htm Accessed on 9th October

Mann, M.E. 28 August 2017.  It’s a fact: climate change made Hurricane Harvey more deadly.  Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/28/climate-change-hurricane-harvey-more-deadly Accessed on 9 October 2017

Slezak, M. 5 October 2017.  Sweltering September smashes Australia’s temperature records.  Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/oct/05/sweltering-september-smashes-australias-temperature-records Accessed on 9 October 2017

Smith, O. 21 July 2017.  Mapped: The countries where a natural disaster is most likely to strike.  Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/maps-and-graphics/Mapped-Where-a-natural-disaster-is-most-likely-to-strike/ Accessed on 9 October 2017.

Plummer, L and Mcgoogan, C 4 September 2017. 11 terrifying climate change facts.  Available from:  http://www.wired.co.uk/article/climate-change-facts Accessed on 9 October 2017

Aggravating factors: climate change. Available from http://www.ifrc.org/en/what-we-do/disaster-management/about-disasters/aggravating-factors/climate-change/ Accessed on 9 October 2017.

http://www.earthtimes.org/encyclopaedia/environmental-issues/natural-disasters/ Accessed on 14 October 2017-10-12

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/12/how-much-do-natural-disasters-cost-the-world/ Accessed 14 October 2017

https://www.worldvision.com.au/get-involved/school-resources/detail/how-do-natural-disasters-occur- Accessed on 14 October 20

 

Healthy lifestyle

• I like the gym and keeping fit

• This directed me towards a healthy lifestyle as a starting point

• Researched exercise, healthy eating and mental health

Benefit of exercise

• Can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

• Improves sleep

• Makes you feel more relaxed and more positive about yourself Obsession or excess exercise is bad for you

• Becomes addictive and you over train, miss social and family events or worry if you miss a day

• Body dysmorphic disorder – if you are excessively concerned with your physical features and defects

• Damages joints and your heart and causes inflammation Mind can’t function if your body isn’t working properly. Your mind affects your body Impact of exercise and on mental health Studies show that exercise can help depression by:

• Promotes changes to the brain including neural growth, reduced inflammation and new activity patterns that promote feelings of calm and well-being.

• Releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain that make you feel good • Acts as a distraction allowing you to break out of a cycle of negative thoughts Benefits of healthy eating

A well-balanced diet provides:

• The energy you need throughout the day

• Nutrients you need for growth and repair helping to prevent diet-related illness Diet and mental health (in some cases alongside other medical treatments)

• Research shows good nutrition plays a role in the development, management and prevention of depression, schizophrenia, ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease

• Those who report some level of mental health problems eat fewer healthy food such as fruit and vegetables

• A balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing can be protected if by a balanced diet of carb, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water. What is a balanced diet? It is recommended that men have around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). Women should have around 2,000 calories a day (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.

• Five a day – fruit and vegetable • Base meals on starchy food such as potatoes, pasta, rice and bread (should make up a third of what we eat)

• Have some dairy such as cheese and yogurt or dairy alternatives such as soya milk

• Fish, eggs, meat, beans and pulses are good sources of protein

• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat in small amounts

• Drink plenty of fluids General research issues

• Creativity and mental health is there a link? Munch, Van Gogh etc.

• Overdoing it – body dysmorphia and anorexia

• Physical and mental exercise and dementia and ageing

Mental health

Over the years numerous artists, musicians and writers have suffered with mental illness, from Virginia Wolf, Vincent van Gough to Kurt Cobain. This has led scientists to question if there is a link between creativity and mental health.

The Lange-Eichbaum study 1931 looked at this question. Over 800 well know “geniuses” were interviewed and only a small minority were found to be free of any mental health issues. The study found the geniuses showed higher tendencies toward “nervous tensions” than the general population.

Other studies show that those who are highly creative are more likely to suffer from depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. One study shows a link to writers and bipolar.

There is however some disagreement. Albert Rothenberg of Harvard University interviewed 45 Nobel laureates for his book Flight from Wonder: An Investigation of Scientific Creativity and found no association between creativity and psychiatric disorders

There is little good data on the topic. In a review of 29 studies conducted before 1998, 15 found no link, nine did find a link and five found it was unclear. One of the difficulties is the definition of creativity and how it is measured.

If mental illness results in beautiful art maybe we should embrace it rather than trying to eliminate it.

Artists who suffered with mental health

• Michelangelo

• Vincent van Gogh

• Francisco Goya

• Pablo Picasso

• Jackson Pollock

• Joan Miro

• Edvard Munch

• Georgia O’Keefe

Munch suffered from anxiety

“The Scream”

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama checked herself into a psychiatric institution in the 1970s, where she became a permanent resident– obsessive themes are dominant in her installations such as this one featuring endless dots.

Keeping fit

1. Exercise

2. A balanced diet

3. Willpower and motivation

https://www.wikihow.com/

Benefits of exercise

It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

It’s medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

• up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke

• up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes

• up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer

• up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer

• a 30% lower risk of early death

• up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis

• up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture

• a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)

• up to a 30% lower risk of depression

• up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

Quotes

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” – Buddha

“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.” – A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it. ~Plato

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” – John F. Kennedy

“The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.” – Joan Rivers

When people take exercise too far and use steroids and illegal body building drugs

Which is better for keeping your mind fit: physical or mental activity?

2013 study – 126 older adults who felt that their memory or thinking skills had gotten worse were put into four groups. They were all asked to do an hour of mental activity and an hour of physical activity three times a week.

What differed were the intensities of these activities:

• intensive computer work plus aerobics

• intensive computer work plus light stretching and toning

• watching educational DVDs plus aerobics • watching educational DVDs plus light stretching and toning

After 12 weeks thinking tests improved across the board in all four groups. The researchers concluded that the amount of activity is more important for stimulating the brain than the type of activity, because all of the participants both exercised and engaged in mental activities each week.

Another study published in Stroke showed that older adults who exercised regularly reduced their risk of vascular-related dementia by 40%. Other mental and emotional benefits of exercise

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/georgemurphyg/fitnesshealth/

 Research links

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/physicalactivity.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201501/

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/541233/Physical_activity_infographic.PDF

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/which-is-better-for-keeping-your-mind-fit-physical-or-mental-activity-201304036049 Accessed 15 October

https://www.fastcompany.com/1681970/does-creativity-come-with-a-price-new-insight-on-creatives-and-mental-illness Accessed 18 October 2017

https://web.stanford.edu/group/cosign/Sussman.pdf Accessed 18 October 2017

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160225-does-mental-illness-enhance-creativity Accessed 18 October 2017

https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/food-and-nutrition/eating-well/health-benefits-of-eating-well Accessed on 18 October 2017

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrition-exercise-can-affect-mental-health-2750.htmlAccessed on 18 October 2017

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm Accessed 18 October

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/diet-and-mental-health

http://wyb.hhuc.edu.cn/picture/article/2055/0e/4b/f773fac74f8c998b126b0f4042fa/57d2c935-0638-4fe5-8699-ea80032fda66.pdf Accessed on 18 October

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx Accessed on 18 October 2017

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/22/16343458/exercise-2-hours-per-week-live-longer

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jun/18/how-physical-exercise-makes-your-brain-work-better

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/24/is-running-best-exercise-reduce-risk-heart-disease

 https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm

http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/treatmentswellbeing/physicalactivity.aspx

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK201501/

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/541233/Physical_activity_infographic.PDF

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/which-is-better-for-keeping-your-mind-fit-physical-or-mental-activity-201304036049 Accessed 15 October

https://www.fastcompany.com/1681970/does-creativity-come-with-a-price-new-insight-on-creatives-and-mental-illness Accessed 18 October 2017

https://web.stanford.edu/group/cosign/Sussman.pdf Accessed 18 October 2017

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20160225-does-mental-illness-enhance-creativity Accessed 18 October 2017

https://www.nhsinform.scot/healthy-living/food-and-nutrition/eating-well/health-benefits-of-eating-well Accessed on 18 October 2017

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/nutrition-exercise-can-affect-mental-health-2750.html

Accessed on 18 October 2017

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm Accessed 18 October

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/d/diet-and-mental-health

http://wyb.hhuc.edu.cn/picture/article/2055/0e/4b/f773fac74f8c998b126b0f4042fa/57d2c935-0638-4fe5-8699-ea80032fda66.pdf Accessed on 18 October

https://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/Healthyeating.aspx Accessed on 18 October 2017

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/9/22/16343458/exercise-2-hours-per-week-live-longer

https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/jun/18/how-physical-exercise-makes-your-brain-work-better

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/apr/24/is-running-best-exercise-reduce-risk-heart-disease

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/4w38qg/deadlifts-and-selfies-how-social-media-shaped-the-modern-bodybuilder

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/nn9xzg/charles-eugster-fittest-oap-on-planet

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/dp5aqa/this-woman-is-fighting-fitness-double-standards-in-the-marines-58477fe23d32300274e7453d

NEW TECHNOLOGY

The wheel

The nail

The compass

The printing press

The internal combustion engine

The telephone

The light bulb

Penicillin

Contraceptives

Even newer technology

  • DNA finger printing
  • The Internet
  • Wireless electricity

Now

The 360-Degree Selfie

Gene Therapy 2.0

Paying with your Face

Botnets of Things

Reinforcement Learning

Coming soon

Reversing Paralysis

Self Driving Trucks

Practical Quantum Computers

Hot Solar Cells

The Cell Atlas

Paper Diagnostics

Ingestible robots

Carbon –breathing batteries

Reversing Paralysis – Available 10 – 15 years

Scientists are reversing paralysis by using brain implants to restore the freedom of movement that spinal cord injuries take away.

A French neuroscientist, Gregroire Courtine, sliced halfway through a monkey’s spinal core and paralyzed its right leg. He then installed a recording devise beneath its skull, touching its motor cortex, and sutured a pad of flexible electrodes around the animal’s spinal cord below the injury. A wireless connection joined the two electronic devices and as a result it was possible to read the monkey’s intention to move and then transmit it immediately in the form of burst of electrical stimulation to its spine. The monkey was thinking and then it was walking.

 

Researchers are wirelessly connecting brain-reading technology directly to electrical stimulators on the body creating a “neural bypass” so that people’s thoughts can move their limbs. In addition to treating paralysis scientist are hoping to use implanted electronics for other senses and abilities for example, to restore memory loss due to Alzheimer’s and reversing blindness with chips placed in the eye. Recently more than 250,000 case of deafness have been treated by using cochlear implants which use a microphone to relay signals directly to the auditory nerve, routing around non-working parts of the inner ear.

John Donoghue, who led early development of brain implants, is working on a “neurocomm” an ultra compact wireless device that can collect data from the brain at Internet speed. He calls it a “radio inside your head”.

Self-Driving Trucks – Availability: 5 to 10 years

Multiple companies are now testing self-driving trucks and proponents claim that self-driving trucks will be safer and cheaper. The challenges facing self-driving trucks seem to be the same as self-driving cars but trucks aren’t just long cars. The economic case may be stronger. Autonomous trucks can coordinate their movements with other truck to drive closer together cutting down on wind drag and saving time with fuel. However, it has to be proven that sensor and code can match professional truck driver skills gained over many years, when faced with poor surfaces, confusing road hazards and unpredictable car drivers.

Self-driving trucks will affect jobs. There are 1.7 million trucking jobs in the U.S. alone. Self-driving trucks will cost less to operate. Drivers have legal restrictions which restrict the amount of hours a driver can drive so even if there is a driver in the truck they don’t have to concentrate and can rest and this limits the delays when a driver has to pull over to rest. Fuel is about a third of the cost of operating a long-haul truck and computer systems can be programmed to keep trucks at optimal speeds and acceleration. There is a potential to cut down accidents. Driver fatigue is responsible for one in seven accidents in the U.S. and more than 90% of accidents are caused in some part by driver error. There is a shortage of truck drivers and self-driving trucks can help recruitment and retention because the drivers will get less physically and mentally tired and this will provide more of a work-life balance. The key to the future of self-driving trucks will be safety.

Paying with your face. Available now

Technology for Face++ a Chinese start-up business valued at a billion dollars is already being used in apps. You can transfer money through Alipay, a mobile payment app using your face. Didi, a ride-hailing company uses Face++ software to let passengers confirm that the driver is legitimate. The technology has taken off in China first because they don’t have the same concerns about the right to privacy and surveillance that the rest of the world have. China has a centralised database of ID card photos. Governments use them to identify criminals from surveillance cameras. Work places and apartment complexes use facial recognition to provide access to shops and restaurants. People can pay for things but also the staff know who you are and can say “Hello Mr Proctor.”

Practical Quantum Computers. Availability 4-5 years

A normal computer performs operations using normal bits which can be either zero or 1 for data an processing. Quantum computer uses quantum bits or qubits and they can be both zero and one but used at the same time and this gives it superior power.

Advances at Intel, Google and research groups indicate that powerful computers are finally possible. In just a few years quantum computers rewrite encryption, pharmaceutical research and artificial science. The problem has been that qubits, the basic units of quantum information are extremely affected by noise and therefore error.

QuTech, a Dutch research institute based at Delft University of Technology and led by Leo Kouwenhoven a professor hired by Microsoft is working on this problem. He believes that the qubits he is creating are stable and this stability would allow researchers to scale up quantum computers by substantially reducing the computational power required for error correction.

In the same lab, Lieven Vanderssypen, funded by Intel, is demonstrating how quantum circuits can be manufactured on traditional silicon wafers.

Quantum computers will be particularly suited to factor large numbers making it easy to crack many of today’s encryption techniques and probably providing uncrackable replacements, solving complex optimization problems and executing machine-learning algorithms.

Paper Diagnostics

Cheap diagnostic tools made of specially designed paper to enable quick screening for diseases such as Ebola, Zika, swine flu. Ingestible robots Consumable, biocompatible microbots that repair our injuries from within Carbon –breathing batteries Electrochemical cells that suck in CO2 to generate electricity and valuable byproducts, solving at once our power and pollution woes.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/georgemurphyg/new-technology/

Research links

http://www.information-age.com/greatest-technological-inventions-history-123464254/ Accessed 18 October 2017

https://www.livescience.com/33749-top-10-inventions-changed-world.html Accessed 18 October 2017

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/timeline-future-technology/ Accessed on 10 October 2017

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2017.  MIT Technology Review.  Available form: https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2017/ Accessed on 10 October 2017

06/10/17

We went through our first assignment brief. The first stage, week 1,2 &3, is a research phase. We had a Good Start/Bad Start tutorial where we went through what we should be working on. I worked with Rhys and after some brainstorming we selected four starting points for research.

Natural disasters, New products/future technology, Culture (around evolution) and Social parties (celebration of victories etc. in the past).

Over the following weekend I thought about what I was interested in and found stimulating and I added fitness, travelling and having seen Blade Runner 2049, I selected artificial intelligence.

Finally, I decided that my four starting points would be:

1. Natural disasters

2. Fitness/health

3. New technology

4. Artificial Intelligence

I will spend the next 2 weeks researching these areas

 

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